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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

‘The happiest moment’: Final Review 2022

Cadet+commander+Connor+Fortier+leads+the+Corps+of+Cadets+for+the+final+time+on+the+Simpson+Drill+Field+as+a+part+of+Final+Review+on+Saturday%2C+April+30%2C+2022.
Photo by Hannah Shaffer

Cadet commander Connor Fortier leads the Corps of Cadets for the final time on the Simpson Drill Field as a part of Final Review on Saturday, April 30, 2022.

A vast expanse of grass. A cloudy and gray day. A single bird in dead center, who quickly flew away as approximately 2,100 khaki-clad Aggies took to Simpson Drill Field for 2022 Final Review.

On Saturday, April 30, the entire Corps of Cadets was reviewed as the Class of 2022 officially completed their tenure, and new leadership for the 2022-23 school year stepped forward. 

Final Review takes place in two parts: First and Second Pass. During First Pass, seniors join their unit one last time, to receive approval from Corps staff and move on to the next phase. At 9 a.m, cadets stepped off for the First Pass from the Quad, marching through Trigon to the Simpson Drill Field.

As each unit passed the review stand, manned by Interim Commandant Ret. Col. Byron Stebbins and 2021-22 Corps Commander Connor Fortier, family and friends were not shy to identify their loved ones, snapping pictures, whooping and yelling. Each unit, following their salute, returned to the Quad to send off seniors and regroup. For the cadets in the Class of 2022, this is the end of a four-year journey and countless hours in khaki.

Just after the First Pass, meteorology senior Zane Noble, the 2021-22 recruiting officer for Squadron 16, enjoyed a celebratory coffee with his family and reflected on his time in the Corps. Noble said this last march was a time to celebrate the past four years.

“Last year it was nice going in and getting to wear the boots for the first time,” Noble said. “[Last year] there was some rain, so it was cool walking off the field today and there being a little bit of drizzle. I was reminiscing, it felt very full circle.”

Standing next to some of his family, Noble said he was appreciative of their support which allowed him to complete his Corps journey, and he offered his best wishes to Squadron 16.

“It’s great having my family here. I couldn’t have done it without all their support,” Noble said. “I’m excited to see where 16 is going to go when I’m gone. They’ve got some big shoes to fill, but I think they’ll do great.” 

As the Corps reformed in the Quad, the Class of 2023 debuted their senior boots for the first time, as they, along with the classes of 2024 and 2025, stepped into new roles and returned to Simpson at 11 a.m. 

Cathy Close and David Close, Class of 1982, were excited to see their son, visualization sophomore Cameron Close, move into his role as an upperclassman. Cathy said seeing her son’s growth over the years has been rewarding.

“It’s a very big deal to see him move up,” Cathy said. “We remember him as a freshman being very timid and scared, and he is not that anymore. It is so exciting to watch how they grow and mature and become upperclassmen and become so confident in themselves.”

David, parent to two cadets and uncle to two more, as well as a former member of Company N-1, said Final Review is a celebration of all cadets and their dedication to the uniformed body.

“Final Review is that symbolic transfer from the classes, and it’s probably the happiest moment for the Corps,” David said. “It’s sad because the seniors move away, but everybody else, you’ll see them as they go by, their smiles are going to be huge because they’ve made it through the year. They’re looking forward to finals and then going home.”

As their younger peers stepped out onto the field, the Class of 2022 cadets were in full force on the sidelines cheering, heckling and photographing their units. Front and center on the review stand was Fortier, joined by 2021-22 Deputy Corps Commander Andrew Bainbridge and Chief of Staff Anthony Roman. 

Fortier officially handed the Corps Commander Saber off to the 2022-23 Corps Commander Grayson Winchester, and along with Bainbridge and Roman, gave their blessing to each unit of the 2022-23 Corps of Cadets. With this passing of the proverbial torch and literal sword, the Class of 2022 cadets are officially “dead.”

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  • Two cadets join arms as they do a yell on the Quad on Saturday, April 30, 2022.

    Photo by Hannah Shaffer
  • Unit E-2, the Mascot Company marches past the review stand on Simpson Drill Field as a part of Final Review on Saturady, April 30, 2022.

    Photo by Hannah Shaffer
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